Luhmühlen to welcome most of the world’s top-class athletes

With World Champions, Olympic gold medallists and European Champions along with top German riders along with German top riders such as Sandra Auffarth, Andreas Dibowski, Bettina Hoy, Ingrid Klimke, Dirk Schrade and Peter Thomsen visitors can expect to see some of the best international eventers from 18 nations such as Belgium, Great Britain, the Netherlands, the USA and Australia

Thirteen British riders have entered the CCI**** including several who have re-routed following Badminton such as Izzy Taylor (KBIS Briarlands Matilda), Sarah Bullimore (Reve Du Rouet and Valentino V), Louise Harwood (Mr Potts and Whitson) and Oliver Townend (Black Tie). Other British entries include Nana Dalton, Emma Hyslop-Webb, Emily Lochore and Julie Tew.

New Zealanders Tim Prize and Andrew Nicholson have both won the CCI**** in previous years and they bring Ringwood Sky Boy and Obos Cooley and Perfect Stranger and Qwanza respectively.

Event Director Julia Otto comments: “As Hans Melzer has predicted, most of the German team riders are going to compete their experienced horses in the CIC*** Meßmer Trophy this year because it suits them better in the preparation for the Olympic Games in Rio. This is certainly going to make the German Championship exciting to watch.”

British based Olympic gold medallist Andrew Hoy (AUS) been very successful in Luhmühlen in the past and he has entered with Rutherglen in the CCI**** and Cheeky Calimbo in the CCI***. He says: “It’s definitely worth the trip, as it’s one of my favourite events. Julia does a great job, the organisation is excellent and I love the courses built by Mark Phillips.”
Most riders face a long journey to get to Luhmühlen. However, Andreas Dibowski could literally hack to the showground. The Olympic gold medallist has entered one horse in each competition: “Last year’s courses were influential and difficult enough but fair for the horses. I’ve decided to ride It’s me xx in the four-star test to stabilise the horse at this level and let it gain further confidence. Avedon has had a great preparation for Badminton and lived up to our expectations there. Now I want to shift down a gear at good test conditions. Luhmühlen for me for many years one of the best events because we can expect predictable conditions – not only regarding the ground but also the cross-country courses.”

The direction of the cross-country was reversed last year, so this year the riders will basically go round the same track. Captain Mark Phillips explains why the course is by no means an old hat, saying: “Last year’s course went well and if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. The questions are still very different, though. In the four-star competition, the first three fences are the same, after that it’s all new. Safety is always our focus and the first thing we think about. I think the course is very fair to the horses.

“As ever it’s a true four-star-test and the riders have to concentrate all the way round. I don’t think there will be one influential fence but a number of significant questions spread evenly throughout the course. Again, we have used frangible devices in every place possible but the most important safety aspect is the riders respect for the jumps. Therefore we are always trying to find the balance between forgiving fences for the horses and questions that are taken seriously by the riders.”

Sarah Carless

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